Palin Has Earned Respect

February 17, 2011

Sarah Palin has proven to be an athletic, powerful, astute, photogenic and wealthy woman. Since her selection as a vice-presidential candidate in 2008 and her loss, she has  capitalized on her national recognition and visibility to create a media personality and earn millions of dollars.

Despite her success, her achievements as a businesswoman/politico have been criticized or ignored by both Republicans and Democrats. A bigger issue is why women generally have not celebrated her success. It is understandable that fat, old media men are befuddled by her use of power, and the ilk of Matthews, Beck and O’Reilly are understandably threatened by an attractive, aggressive woman who has amassed wealth and power without asking for or needing their blessing.

Ms. Palin is everything these media men are not. She knows how to start a snowmobile and feed sled dogs. She actually enjoys going on long hikes on cold snow days, and carries her own pack. She uses guile, brains and talent, yet Ms. Palin is subjected to snide criticism from pundits for both parties. Perhaps the TV media folks feel unloved, since they need Palin more than she needs them.

The politico media entertainers are so used to manipulating their guests by scripting fake conflicts and soliciting polarizing comments, that a real personality that is beyond their control puts them off guard. It is worth observing that there are few women commentators doing political entertainment on TV, perhaps because the supercilious male media moguls controlling content won’t deign to put an intelligent woman journalist in prime time. Rachel Maddow may be an exception, but  her anti-Palin jibes seem so unfair and inconsistent with what feminists claim to want. Sadly, Maddow’s entertainment hour needs thoughtless, manufactured polarity to get entertainment kudos and advertiser bucks from the old men who run her program

Like CNBC TV, Fox “News” is a misnomer. Fox News is a  pure entertainment show, just like CNBC. None of the hosts purport to be journalists or to have any interest in facts or objectivity. The concept of “fair and balanced” ( a calculated suggestion of objectivity) is not allowed in the studios, and to suggest otherwise is a sick joke on real journalists who try to be objective.

Sometimes Glenn Beck’s rabid rants are entertaining, with a rare fact thrown in as news so that it can be meanly distorted. What is curious is that both Fox and CNBC ignore Palin’s credentials and success. Where are the feminists who too often support candidates that are wealthy philanderers. Why are feminists such harsh critics of Ms. Palin, who has been remarkably successful in using her talents to amass prestige and wealth and power, goals that feminists espouse for women.

Ms. Palin has used her success to support other women running for office, and surely in the long run it will be better to have more women in office running the country, rather than serving tea and crumpets  to unfit, lazy men.

Ms. Palin is young and has plenty of time to decide whether and when to re-launch her political career. In the meantime we should give her the same recognition and applause that we would give to a man with similar achievements

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